Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down a few days ago. It is an appalling tragedy. On the TV news coverage there was an interview with a British family of three who were meant to be on that flight, but could not board because the flight was full. That family inadvertently escaped death as others dreadfully died in their place. This reminds us of the gospel. Jesus voluntarily boarded the plan knowing it would be shot down, to use the plane metaphor. That is, Jesus voluntarily made his way towards Jerusalem knowing that he would be crucified (Luke 9:51); so that we may escape God’s just judgment.
The incredible good news the Bible tells us is that God so loved the world that he sent Jesus so that whoever believes in him will not face God’s judgment but have never-ending life. 1 Peter 3:18 says, “Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” Our sin and rebellion deserves God’s judgment, but Jesus died for us to bear God’s judgment in our stead so that we may be forgiven and be in a right relationship with God.
The MH17 saga is a great tragedy. In the midst of the post-crash turmoil, take a minute to think upon another tragedy – the killing of the God-man on a hill outside Jerusalem. And remember that the true and living God uses even great tragedy for great good.